Get to grips with the state of our nation at the Open Book Festival
From state capture to the Cape Flats, from the Bosasa billions to attacks on the media, this year's programme gives you the lowdown on a country in crisis
The programme for this year's Open Book Festival (September 4-8) features a series of conversations on the current state of the nation.
There will also be a number of authors discussing their recently published books: Mcebisi Jonas will be talking about his new book, After Dawn: Hope After State Capture, which explores both the crisis at the heart of the current system, and potential solutions to this crisis.
Johann Van Loggerenberg will be in conversation with Max Du Preez about Tobacco Wars, an exposé of a billion-dollar international industry rife with private spy networks, tax evasion, collusion and corruption.
Finally, James-Brent Styan and Paul Vecchiato launch their book, The Bosasa Billions, in the company of Erin Bates – a book that tells the story of how one company hijacked the state and cost taxpayers billions.
At A City in Crisis, Caryn Dolley, Axolile Notywala and Roegshanda Pascoe speak to Hennie van Vuuren about the impact of the SANDF presence on the Cape Flats. Also listen to Jonathan Ancer, Caryn Dolley and David Smuts speak to Hennie van Vuuren about communities ruled by fear at When Governance Fails.
The university will once again be a focus this year. Buti Manamela (deputy minister of higher education, science and technology), Nhtabiseng Khauoe (HoD of financial aid, CPUT) and Rorisang Moseli (student activist) will speak to Rekgotsofetse Chikane (activist and author, Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation) about student funding.
- Political Party Funding: Jan-Jan Joubert explores realistic options for transparency in this thorny area with Mandisa Dyantyi (My Vote Counts), Ghalib Galant (R2K), Mosotho Moepya (IEC) and John Steenhuisen (DA). Wednesday September 4, 12pm - 1pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Fragments of Activism: Phumeza Mlungwana, Axolile Notywala and Thapelo Mohapi launch this reflection on social activism in SA with Hennie van Vuuren. Wednesday, September 4, 2pm to 3pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Student Funding: Nthabiseng Khaoe, Buti Manamela and Rorisang Moseli discuss the way forward with Rekgotsofetse Chikane. Wednesday, September 4, 8pm to 9pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- SABC8: Lukhanyo Calata and Foeta Krige speak to Rebecca Davis about what happens when journalists become the news. Thursday September 5, 10am to 11am, Fugard Studio. Book tickets here.
- When Governance Fails: Jonathan Ancer, Caryn Dolley and David Smuts speak to Hennie van Vuuren about communities ruled by fear. Thursday, September 5, 12pm - 1pm, HCC Workshop. Book tickets here.
- Tertiary Decolonisation: Vivienne Bozalek, Mandisa Haarhoff and Athinangamso Nkopo try to reach a common understanding about the routes to decolonised institutions with Wamuwi Mbao. Thursday September 5, 2pm to 3pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Maverick Insider: Threats to the Media: Sikonathi Mantshantsha, Pieter-Louis Myburgh and Marianne Thamm talk to Rebecca Davis about dealing with personal attacks that have become part of the job. Thursday, September 5, 4pm to 5pm, Fugard Studio. Book tickets here.
- Exposing the Money: Caryn Dolley, Pieter du Toit and Johann van Loggerenberg discuss the results of their investigations with Sikonathi Mantshantsha. Thursday, September 5, 6pm to 7pm, HCC Workshop. Book tickets here.
- Tobacco Wars: Johann van Loggerenberg launches his exposé in the company of Max du Preez. Friday, September 6, 10am to 11am, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Dirty Politics: Caryn Dolley, Foeta Krige and Pieter-Louis Myburgh speak to Erin Bates about their shocking experiences while chasing the truth. Friday, September 6, 12pm to 1pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Dreams of Justice: Saidiya Hartman, Michelle le Roux and Tim Murithi speak to Sisonke Msimang about failures of the law to be a force for social justice. Friday, September 6, 2pm to 3pm. Book tickets here.
- Rethinking the Courtroom: Michelle le Roux, Jameelah Omar and David Smuts discuss the possibilities of non-adversarial models of practising law with Hugh Corder. Saturday, September 7, 10am to 11am. Book tickets here.
- A City in Crisis: Caryn Dolley, Axolile Notywala and Roegshanda Pascoe speak to Hennie van Vuuren about the impact of the SANDF presence on the Cape Flats. Saturday, September 7, 2pm to 3pm. Book tickets here.
- Bosasa Billions: James-Brent Styan and Paul Vecchiatto launch just published state capture exposé with Erin Bates. Saturday, September 7, 8pm to 9pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
- Hope after State Capture: Mcebisi Jonas launches After Dawn, his blueprint for transforming the SA economy, in the company of Mondli Makhanya. Saturday, September 7, 12pm to 1pm, Fugard Theatre. Book tickets here.
See these events and others in the programme or the downloadable PDF. The printed programme will shortly be available at various other locations including the Fugard Theatre, the District 6 Homecoming Centre and libraries.
As in the past, attendees will need a ticket to access all events (even the free ones) unless otherwise stated. Book your place through webtickets. To book directly from the box office at the Book Lounge, contact Mervyn Sloman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are planning to spend those five days going to as many events as possible, it may be worth purchasing either a day pass (R150) or a festival pass (R600). Both are available through Webtickets. Please note that the passes allow you to book for almost all events, but free events as well as some workshops and food events we have planned are not available through the pass options.
Keep an eye on the website to stay up to date with the changes to the programme - the nature of running something like this is that you can be sure that there will be changes! Changes will be made to the site, but will not reflect on the printed programme or on the downloadable PDF.